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CSIR Planning Support Tools

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24 April 2023

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)


uKESA Librarian

Information page

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research

South Africa

The CSIR and its partners have developed a range of online planning support tools. These decision support tools are designed to help planners make more informed decisions about urban and settlement development. They provide evidence-based information on a variety of urban planning issues, including climate, population, housing, employment, transportation, and the environment. They use data and evidence to inform decision-making, and they have the potential to improve the quality of urban planning decisions.


Common elements of urban planning support tools include a focus on sustainability, equity, and user-friendliness. These tools can help planners to create more sustainable, equitable, and inclusive cities, towns and villages.


This landing page catalogues the tools currently available from the CSIR with links to information pages and to the platforms themselves.


The planning support tools include:  

Green Book


The Green Book is an online planning support tool to support municipal planning and the development of climate-resilient cities and settlements through climate change adaptation research. Ultimately, the tool assists in facilitating the mainstreaming of climate change adaptation into local government planning instruments and processes.

Social Facility Toolkit

The Social Facility Provision Toolkit supports planning and budgeting of social facility provision, provides guidelines on facility provision standards and their application, especially in rural areas, and calculates typical social facility service provision for catchments.



stepSA plays a key role as a collaborative initiative to build the capability and evidence base to support high-impact and transformative investment decisions in SA’s cities, towns, and settlements. Innovative research and development enable profiling growth and development dynamics; and simulating the spatial outcomes of growth and public investment in cities and towns. The outputs of stepSA have largely been focused on informing public investment decisions to address the growth, transformation, and sustainability of SA’s cities and towns.


COVID-19 Vulnerability Dashboard for South Africa


The CSIR, with conceptual input from the Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership, developed the Vulnerability Index, along with the Transition Potential Index and the Health Susceptibility Index. This index assesses the vulnerability of areas to the potential impact of COVID-19 based on two factors: the effectiveness of containing the spread of the virus and the population's susceptibility to its adverse effects. It identifies areas where large numbers of people are potentially at risk of being adversely affected by COVID-19 due to existing living conditions that could make it difficult to maintain social distancing and good hygiene.




Website References

Built environment

Climate Change/Resilience





Environmental management


Human settlements





Local government


Natural environment




Smart Cities

South Africa



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